I saw reports last week of several people (like The Points Guy here) mentioning they were able to get a new version of their Chase Sapphire Preferred card sent out with a smart chip. Chip and pin cards are frequently used internationally, and having a chip and signature card (smart chip but no pin) definitely helps while traveling through Europe. I used my Citibank Hilton Reserve with a chip in Europe earlier this year. I was very excited to hear chips are now available for the Chase Sapphire Preferred as it has no foreign transaction fees and therefore is already a great card to use abroad. A smart chip means the card will be more widely accepted as the typical US cards are sometimes not accepted by certain card readers.
I called the number on the back of my card last week to request one. The first representative I spoke with said they weren’t available. I figured since it was a new feature I’d call back to make sure. The second representative I spoke with said they were! They sent me a new card which arrived in a day or two. I excitedly opened the package and found an exact replica of my current card (no chip!). I called back AGAIN and the third rep said she was sorry, and that she would send another. Fast forward two days and I open ANOTHER replica of my current card – again no chip. I called again today and was told the chip version is currently only available for the Visa version, not the MasterCard! It turns out the first representative was right. I now have three copies of my Chase Sapphire Preferred and am anxiously waiting for whenever the MasterCard versions become chip enabled.
I mentioned attending Frequent Traveler University (FTU) last month, and our brief stay at the Best Western. Around the middle of September I received a targeted email from Starwood for a “buy one, get one free” type promotion. I decided to take advantage of this promotion and stay at the Westin Tampa Bay even though the FTU event was held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay (which is also great).